Cosmos, the latest full-length release from Brooklyn-based quartet, Yellow Ostrich, is a beautiful exploratory musical experience. The album takes the listener on an introspective path of self-discovery through ten multilayered and often structurally surprising pieces of music. In the song, “You Are the Stars,” the direction shifts seamlessly from intimate serenity to blasting dissonance in a single moment. That is the nature of Cosmos: right when you think you might have pinned down what Yellow Ostrich is, they hit you with something new and exciting. The band’s wonderful sense of melody comes through in fresh and interesting forms, bouncing from modest campfire sing-a-longs to deeply layered electronic soundscapes and cyclical indie-rock grooviness. This is all coupled with a fine finish of tight production that captures a refreshingly fragile human element.
Alex Schaaf’s profound lyricism centres around the perplexing nature of existence and the beauty of the unknown. It is no surprise to find out that the album takes inspiration for the works of brilliant astronomer, Carl Sagan.
It has been two years since Yellow Ostrich’s last full-length release, Strange Land, and the wait has been well worth it. Cosmos is a big step forward for the band both musically and intellectually. Combining graceful pop warmth with intriguing multidimensional depth, it is a sonically inviting record that pulls you in on the first listen and gets better ever time you revisit it.
By Taylor Cochrane